Letter of Registrations and Returns

Society of the Middle Ages, Inc.

Office of the Muskatour King of Arms

February 2022

Greetings from the Muskatour office.

Wow. Looking at the Calendarium Societatis, it’s APD 2 already… and I’m wondering where the year has gone. The last half of APD 1, at least, has been very busy for the College of Arms. We stood up, hired senior staff, warranted local officers, wrote policy, rules, and guidelines, created precedents, and this letter is the sixth letter of registrations and returns (LoRR) to be published since we started accepting new submissions. In early February, we conducted our first class for members of the College of Arms – a “how to” for consulting heralds. With luck, we will be offering more classes for both heralds and clients in the near future.

We have a new precedent from this month’s meeting. A precedent is a decision covering a situation that sits on the line between allowable and not allowable – in other words, a judgment call. Much like a court of law, a heralds’ court uses precedents to ensure that future decisions are consistent with past decisions. Precedents may be overturned as new research/knowledge into historical heraldic practices becomes available but serve as an addendum to the Rules for Submission as long as they are in effect.

  • The attributed arms of Prester John, a mythical/legendary saint/bishop/king, in a c.1530 German roll of arms is the only example of the charge hand in benediction currently known to exist in our period (and in our grey period at that). There are no earlier renditions of arms attributed to this legendary figure that show a hand in any form – apaumee, in benediction, or closed in a fist. The Muskatour staff determined that this is implicit evidence that the hand apaumee and hand in benediction were not used interchangeably in period heraldry. Additionally, with the third and fourth finger curled into the palm, the hand in benediction has a distinctly difference silhouette than a hand apaumee and would not be mistaken for such as a reasonable viewing distance. Thus, until new evidence shows otherwise, the College of Arms will grant a distinct difference between a hand in benediction and a hand apaumee.

The Muskatour office is pleased to welcome Aron ulfr’ who has agreed to take the position of Octavo Herald – the College of Arms web minister. Aron will be working with Connull) to bring the College of Arms onto the SMA web domain. He will also be working with Galen of Bristol who is developing the databases we will be using for the order of precedence and the armorial & ordinary. The desired end-state is to integrate those databases into our web presence so they can be made available to the membership outside our current Google drive.



  1. Álendia, Kingdom of – New Alternate Arms

Azure, two lions sejant erect combatant Or maintaining between them a label argent, in chief a royal crown Or, a bordure ermine.

This design is being used to mark Coronation in the kingdom calendar.


  1. Álendia, Kingdom of – New Alternate Arms

Azure,in fess a sword argent between two lions combatant Or, in chief a royal crown Or, a bordure ermine.

This design is being used to mark Crown Tournament in the kingdom calendar.


  1. Álendia, Kingdom of – New Alternate Arms

Azure, a lion passant guardant Or and in chief a royal crown Or, a bordure ermine.

This design is being used to mark kingdom-level events in the kingdom calendar.


  1. Duży Cyprys, Castle of – New Name (see pended for Arms)


  1. Iaenbryht Graegher – Legacy Name, New Arms
    Vert, a hand in benediction argent

We had two issues with this submission. The first was determining if a hand in benediction was a period charge. The second is that precedents in other organizations do not grant a difference between a hand apaumee and a hand in benediction. If the latter issue remains true in our organization, this would conflict with the attributed arms of Isengard in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, sable a hand argent.

With regard to the first point, the Muskatour staff was able to find only a single example of a hand in benediction within the grey period (1500-1550 C.E.), and that example is of arms attributed rather than actually recorded. The “Sammelband mehrerer Wappenbücher” (c.1530) attributes Sable, a hand in benediction bendwise proper to Prester John, a mythical/legendary saint, bishop, and king. This single instance in our grey period is sufficient to show the charge as having been in use.

With regard to the second point, as the only example located in period is a single instance of attributed arms, there is no evidence that a hand in benediction was ever used interchangeably with a hand apaumee in period heraldry. Additionally, the curling of the third and fourth fingers into the palm significantly change the silhouette of the charge from that of a fully open hand, making it unlikely that the two charges would be mistaken for one another at a reasonable viewing distance. Therefore, until such time as new evidence is uncovered to the contrary, we will allow a single distinct difference between a hand apaumee and a hand in benediction. Thus, this is clear of Isengard by a distinct change in the primary charge and a distinct change of field tincture.


  1. Jehanne d’Avignon – Correction to Registered Arms

Azure, three crosses fleury and on a chief Or a triple-towered crenellated bridge gules

This had previously been registered with a sable field based on the apparent field tincture on the original color copy. The client requested a reconsideration and provided a revised copy of the form with a clearly azure field.


  1. Livia da Nicolosi – New Name Change

Livia da Nicolosi is a legacy name submission. The client’s registered name, Frithegyth of Glastonbury, is released.


  1. Matilda Spycer – New Name, New Arms

Vert, a rabbit rampant Or

The Muskatour office would like to award the coveted “Well done!” comment for the name documentation provided with this submission.


  1. Renee du Valier – Resub Badge

(Fieldless) A sun in splendor within and conjoined to an annulet Or


  1. Sigvarðr Brynjólfsson – Resub Arms

Sable, a hawk volant wings elevated and addorsed maintaining in its talons a hatchet fesswise argent

Previously submitted as Sable, a hawk volant wings elevated and addorsed argent maintaining in its talons a hatchet fesswise proper, the arms were returned as the brown handle and black head of the hatchet had poor or no contrast with the field. The current design resolves that issue.


  1. Solumbria, Shire of – Resub Name

Returned on the November 2021 LoRR for lack of sufficient documentation of the name pattern. On resubmission, the group included examples of towns using an adjective with a generic geographic reference, albeit none with the language mix originally claimed in their first submission. They also provided a 19th century transliteration of a period Greek document with what appears to be the word “solumbria” or a reasonable variant thereof used as either a geographic reference or as the location of an episcopate. Given the lack of Greek expertise on the Muskatour staff, we have elected to give the shire the benefit of the doubt both in the language mix and the transliteration/transcription of the additional reference documents.

The Muskatour staff would like to thank the consulting herald for going above and beyond in seeking out primary documentation sources for this name.


  1. Strathhavin, Shire of – New Arms

Azure, a hippocampus argent, a chief ermine


  1. Wulfrun Aschere – Resub Arms

Gyronny of eight azure and ermine, a lion dormant Or

Originally submitted as Azure, a lion couchant Or, a bordure ermine, the arms were returned in November 2021 for using an ermine bordure, which is reserved for kingdoms and principalities. The redesign has corrected the issue.




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